Monday, 5 September 2016

GBBO 2016 Week 2 - Biscuits - Viennese Whirls

I couldn't help myself - I had to make three bakes this week because I love biscuits so much. As well as the pineapple, coconut and lime palm trees (see here) and honey bees (see here), I also had a go at the technical challenge, where the contestants had to bake Viennese whirls. 
Viennese whirls are basically melt-in-the-mouth pastry whirls, sandwiched together with homemade jam and buttercream. I strayed slightly from Mary Berry’s recipe - I had a glut of blackberries so decided to make blackberry jam. Very sweet but also very delectable.

One question I still have though…I could not work out how to pipe a whirl, so only managed roses L I’ll be baking another batch this week (once my new cooker arrives!), so I’ll have to see if I figure that puzzle out.

I also had no baking parchment so had to guess the size of the whirls, so please forgive the slight…informal nature of the biscuits.

Makes 12 biscuits 


For the jam:

  • 250g (2 cups) blackberries
  • 250g (1 cup) water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the biscuits:

  • 250g (1 cup) softened butter
  • 50g (1/2 cup) icing sugar
  • 225g (1&1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 25g (2 1/2 tbsp) corn flour

For the buttercream:
  • 150g (3/5 cup) softened butter
  • 300g (3 cups) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Make the jam. Combine the blackberries, water and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook for around 7 minutes, until a temperature thermometer reads 105c/220f. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, leave the mixture simmering for 7 minutes, then take off the heat. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

2. Blend the jam, and then sieve it (to remove the seeds). Set aside to set.

3. Preheat the oven to 190c/370f/gas mark 5. Use a 5cm cutter (or bigger if you want bigger biscuits) to draw circles on the baking parchment – these will be your piping templates. Flip the baking parchment over so that the dough will not touch the outline.

4. Cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy.

5. Sift in the plain flour and corn flour, and beat until the flour has been incorporated. It will be very stiff but will not become a firm dough.

6. Put an M1 nozzle into a piping bag and fill with the dough. If it is very firm, hold the bag in your hands for a few minutes, until it is soft enough to pipe.

7. Pipe 24 swirls of dough, using the circle outlines as a guide.

8. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

9. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown. Leave to cool in the tray – they are very delicate.

10. Make the buttercream. Cream the butter, icing sugar, and vanilla together using a wooden spoon – be careful as the icing sugar can get everywhere! Beat until smooth – add a little milk if it is too stiff.
Pour into a piping bag fitted with an M1 nozzle.

11. Assemble the biscuits. Flip half of the biscuits over so that the whirl is facing down. Add a teaspoon of blackberry jam to the biscuit, and gently spread to the outside of the biscuit.

12. Pipe a whirl of buttercream onto each biscuit – try not to press down onto the biscuit in case it cracks.

13. Top with another biscuit (with the whirl pointing outwards).

14. Enjoy!

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